All dressed up with no place to go? (Gasp!) That just might be one of the scariest things to happen this Halloween. This is your one chance to be someone you’re not, so you better get your partially-exposed butt and painted face out there to a party. Looking to hook up, get high, dance like mad, or party like a sophisticate? Then check out our list of New York’s top Halloween parties in 2012. They all have in common one thing: OPEN BAR. So go! Drink! Flirt! Dance! And completely become that which you are not – for a night.
Considering that it all started back in 2004 with Herr Lagerfeld’s first collection for H&M, it’s a wonder that it’s taken so long for hotels to join in the deeply pragmatic twinning of the high and lowbrow. But swish newcomer XVI Lounge might just be kicking off a whole new trend: fashionable cocktail lounges in distinctly, um, not fashionable hotels.
Perched atop a Hilton Garden Inn (for those of you not familiar with Hilton brand hierarchies, HGI is geared mostly to families on a budget) over at 251 W. 48th, there’s a delicious sort of culture clash built right in to the environs. To wit, the name “XVI” is ostensibly a reference to Marie Antoinette’s hubby King Louis (the bar is actually located on the 16th floor, mind), as the decor conveys a modernist’s approximation of Versailles pomp — though it’s not so much foofy as it is cooly opulent. Yet, despite the glamorous presentation and its Juliet Suppercub/Pink Elephant pedigree, XVI is in little danger of becoming a magnet for misbehaving socialites. Service is casual but attentive, cocktails tend away from all that over-thought mixology nonsense in favor of the fun and sexy — the cinnamon-flavored XVI Cooler, the mint-vodka-based Ivy Fizz — and projection screens play to imbibing cinephiles. Significantly, a side-entrance, which takes guests through a dark, winding, haunted-house-worthy secret corridor, skirts all visible connection to the hotel itself. But overall, XVI may just be a harbinger of things to come, as even rather quotidian hotels begin to comprehend the value of boasting a chic nightlife destination.
Indeed, the imagination reels with visions of Bungalow 8 in Motel 6. But, you know, don’t quote us on that.